Most Common Browser Bugs | January 10, 2005

As we all know there are a lot of buggy browsers out there. Some browsers are more buggy than others and some bugs are more prevalent than others. The first CSS bug most people experience is Internet Explorers 5’s box model problems. This bug is so common that many people learn to hack it before they even understand what the box model is.

The second most common bug I experience is the IE Doubled Float-Margin Bug. Once you’ve experienced this bug once it’s a pretty easy one to spot, especially if the margins in question are big. The next most common bug I experience will be familiar to anybody who’s tried to turn a list into a vertical nav bar. I’m not sure of it’s official title, but it’s one that causes gaps to appear in IE5 between the list items. It could be some variant of the IE Three Pixel Text-Jog, the final bug in my “most common” list.

Most of the other bugs I experience are random one off bugs. Some of them are known bugs like the bizarre Duplicate Characters Bug but the majority are ones I never manage to identify.

What are the most common bugs you come across? The ones you’ve had to deal with so many times you know what they are immediately when you see them?

Posted at January 10, 2005 10:30 PM


seth said on January 10, 2005 8:38 PM

I like the IE Whitespace Bug

Andrew Hume said on January 10, 2005 8:43 PM

One I spot over and over again is the Opera bug, “floats don’t work in absolutely positioned elements” bug.

This is prevailent in the browser up to and including Opera 7.54. I believe it is fixed in the new Opera 8 beta.

The bug is fixed by applying a width property to the absolutely positioned element.

A good example is the footer in Mr Inman’s site, which I believe is suffering from this particular bug.

Justin Perkins said on January 10, 2005 9:03 PM

The troubling Peek-a-boo bug in IE6 has caused me some serious headaches, I usually end up dropping some CSS rules to avoid this one.

Mike D. said on January 10, 2005 9:08 PM

Yep, the three-pixel float bug is definitely the most evil bug ever. Even more evil than the box-model bug.

Also, the Safari/Flash DHTML layering bug sucks pretty bad.

Jeena Paradies said on January 10, 2005 10:12 PM

I hate the lack of PNG support in all IEs.

Mike P. said on January 10, 2005 10:36 PM

Internet Explorer :-)

If I had to choose something specific tho, having been an Opera user for awhile there, the bug Andrew outlines above was a real pest. That and the IE Doubled Float-Margin Bug, which was a real pisser until that workaround was found…

Cameron Adams said on January 11, 2005 12:48 AM

My current number one bug is IE dropping background images on certain elements when it gets a bit complex.

What happens is it might render the background image fine initially — it might not — but when you scroll around a bit it totally screws it.

The solution is to put “position: relative” on the element in concern, but this often has cascading effects, requiring you to put “position: relative” on all child elements of that object.

Brian said on January 11, 2005 3:33 AM

I’m with you Cameron, that one has been ticking me off for a while now. Mostly because I had no idea how to describe and therefore never really found a solution. With most of these, they’re Google-able enough that I can find help. I’ll have to try “position: relative” next time.

Kris said on January 11, 2005 7:45 AM

The colorshift on PNG-8 images in 16K color modus.

Olly said on January 11, 2005 2:17 PM

The good old IE6 Peekaboo bug is an endless source of fun for me. I was discussing it with Big John right back when we first came across it on CSS-D, and its still causing issues now. Its such a fantasmagorical browser, IE6 :)

Olly said on January 11, 2005 2:20 PM

Cameron, Brian - you can often cure that one by feeding IE6 a height value. See the holly hack at

Nick Rigby said on January 11, 2005 3:06 PM

The IE 3px Jog Bug is a frequent one for me. It’s a real pain but one I have become rather accustomed to. The joys of Internet Explorer!

Ed said on January 14, 2005 8:48 PM

The work-arounds are simple, but IE’s min-height bug and the lack of support for PNG alpha-transparency really annoys me.

Janne Jylhä said on October 14, 2005 10:37 AM


Should fix most of the problems for IE5+ and IE6 mentioned above… even “lack of PNG support in IEs” and so much more…

James MacLeod said on November 30, 2005 12:29 PM

Janne Jylhä: thats freat but it doesn’t take away the fact that you will need to support the poor people who haven’t been enlightened to the way of the firefox! I myself like the box-model-hack. Although not a real issue anymore, I still like the idea that you can just “trick” IE into thinking you have finished the rule.

Tim Rogers said on January 24, 2006 5:37 PM

how do I get around the problem of safari failing to fit a table row to the size of the text based content in the same was as IE does? For example if I were to create a 5 row table add text in the and style it via the

tag, IE would collapse the table to fit the height of the said text. In Safari in wont, so there is always unwanted padding in the table. This means its hard to make neat tables in safari and they end up taking up twice as much space as they should do!